Anita Elberse, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Sir Alex Ferguson, recently retired manager of the British football club Manchester United, write about leadership lessons from one of the greatest coaches in sports.This article was first published in the October 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review.
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Sir Alex: Impressive as usual
If high standards, accomplishment and excellence are your goals, Sir Alex then is the man to give you the tips out of his 26 years experience leading Manchester United from one victory to another. He actually validated lots of practices I do myself, I have some developers joining my team because they heard of high standards and excellence I look for. However, he also have been firm giving advises that I myself hesitated to take in order to not loose the structure of the team I have spent time building and investing in.
On the contrary, he challenged norms and didn't hesitate to fire a high profile player when he felt that they are compromising the morale of the team (something I have been struggling with for some time just because I didn't have the support I needed!).
Moreover, he didn't fear to take risks, he believed in his team as he himself believed that he and his team worked hard to reach where they have reached now (not remarking to our loss to Tottenham just tonight!).
Also, he invested in the least expected to have value from (the youth) and that turned to be a game (life) changer practice shaping the way modern clubs are. His focus was not building a team but rather "I thought of only one thing: building a football club". And that's how things should work, you do not build small successful teams in your company but rather a company that is successful.
As always, THANK YOU SIR ALEX.
A long-living Red Devils Fan.
- Ishraq Fataftah
Fantastic leadership principles